Stary Writing Academy: Six Free APPs You Need to Improve Your Online Writing Efficiency

Ace Author Club
4 min readApr 8, 2021

You sit in front of your computer on a beautiful morning, with the confidence to write one chapter in one go. But things always go out of control…

Two hours later, you only write the name of the chapter but spend all the rest time checking out the funny memes on your mobile.

Sound similar?

Writing online is approachable for most writing lovers, but the Internet also gives you many excuses to get lost in entertainment and diverts attention from creating. This article introduces three kinds of APPs to assist you in mastering time management and improve writing efficiency.

Mind Mapping APPs

A mind map is a tool for capturing ideas and imaginations in your mind and visualizing them. Mind mapping APPs are effective tools for writers to plot out storylines and character relationships.


MindMeister is a cross-platform APP for you to capture your ideas. It provides a Basic plan with no charge for all the users. With this plan, you can create three mind maps for free. If you had no idea about presenting your thoughts in a mind map, you could also start with the templates provided by MindMeister.


Mindly is an APP that easy to learn and use on your mobile phone. It provides Android, IOS, and Mac versions (no Windows version). The hierarchy of elements on Mindly is infinite, which means you can keep adding new elements and connecting ideas forever. This function is very useful when you create a story that has a huge group of characters and complicated relationships between them.

Time Management APPs

Finding an appropriate method to manage your time is the start of increasing efficiency.

Toggl Track

Toggl Track is an APP to monitor the time you spend on projects and tasks. The free tier on Toggl Track is generous. Freelancers can get so much out of it for free. This APP can track how much time you have spent on each project. For instance, you can use it to understand how long writing a chapter really takes. Also, it provides the timeline, auto-tracker, idle detection, weekly reports, etc., in the free tier.


Todoist is a to-do list APP that helps people organize work and life. The free version allows users to manage up to 5 active projects. With the new update in 2021, features like Labels, Filters, and Comments, which were just available to the Premium users, are now included in the free version.

Concentration APPs

There is a common phenomenon that many people are lack focus nowadays since the APPs on our phones and content on the websites are designed to be as attractive as possible. But some APPs go the other way that aims to help users become more focused.


Refer to the Facebook page of Forest, it is an APP helping users stay away from their smartphones and stay focused on their work. It is like playing a game when you use this APP — you need to plant virtual trees on this APP by staying off your phones for a period of time. For example, if the tree needed an hour to grow, as long as you keep off the mobile phone long enough, it will finish growing. By contrast, the tree will die if you get back to the phone too fast.

Atmosphere: Relaxing Sounds

Atmosphere sounds can help people sleep, relieve stress, and, most importantly, stimulate creativity and concentration. For example, some writers enjoy creating during rainy days with the sound of rain, while someone might love writing in a café with the background sound that people talk. Atmosphere: Relaxing Sounds is an APP that offers high-quality sounds in various environments, like Beach, Forest, City, Home, Underwater, etc.

If you were interested in what other writers use to concentrate on writing, you can join the discussion on the Facebook page of @starywriting or follow us on Instagram.